Category Archives: Procedural Law

Legal Forms

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Legal Forms in California

Research Guide – California Legal Forms

California Civil Procedure Formbooks

These include:

  • California Affirmative Defenses 2d, Bancroft Whitney, 5 volumes. These forms are for defenses to civil actions. This publication is also available on Westlaw (Formerly, CAAFDEF).
  • California Civil Litigation Forms Manual, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes. The forms in this practice guide are derived from CEB civil procedure and civil discovery books. Sample forms are including.
  • California Civil Procedure Before Trial, 3rd ed., Continuing Education of the Bar, 3 volumes. This publication is also available on Lexis (formerly, ceb;cebcpt).
  • California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Annotated, Matthew Bender, 55 volumes. This is a very comprehensive and current set of California legal forms. It includes relevant laws and the procedures for using the forms. It is organized by subject. These forms are available on Lexis.
  • California Practice Guide: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rutter Group. This publication is also available on Westlaw (Formerly, TRG-CAADR).
  • California Practice Guide: Civil Appeals and Writs, Rutter Group, 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw (Formerly, TRG-CACIVAPP).
  • California Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial, Rutter Group, 3 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw (Formerly, TRG-CACIVP).
  • California Practice Guide: Civil Trials and Evidence, Rutter Group, 3 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw (Formerly, TRG-CACIVEV).
  • California Practice Guide: Enforcing Judgments and Debts, Rutter Group, 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw (Formerly, TRG-CADEBT).
  • Debt Collection Practice in California, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes.
  • Practicing California Judicial Arbitration, Continuing Education of the Bar.

Judicial Council Forms

These include:

  • California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Annotated, Matthew Bender. A three volume supplement, Judicial Council Forms, contains forms for use in discovery, wage garnishment, family law, juvenile court law, guardianship, civil harassment, and small claims proceedings.
    These forms are available on Lexis.
  • California Judicial Council Forms Manual, Continuing Education of the Bar, 4 volumes. Forms can be removed for copying and are accepted by the California courts. Set includes table of contents, alphabetical list of forms, and table of statutes and rules.
  • West’s California Judicial Council Forms, 4 volumes. For use in conjunction with West’s Annotated California Codes. Forms are effective through current year.

Judicial Council Forms are also available through the California Courts’ Internet homepage.

Jury Instructions and Selection

  • [CACI] California Jury Instructions: Civil, Plain English, This publication is also available on Westlaw (Formerly, CA-CACI) and Lexis (Formerly, cal;cjcjur).
  • [BAJI] California Jury Instructions: Civil, 9th ed., 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw and Lexis.
  • Bennett’s Guide to Jury Selection and Trial Dynamics:California Civil Litigation, West Publishing Company. Forms for jury selection, including sample questionnaires for different types of trials. These forms are also available on Westlaw (formerly, through the LTG-TP database). Hint: To limit your search to Bennett’s, add “ci (bennett)” to your search.
  • [CALCRIM] California Jury Instructions: Criminal, Plain English, 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw and Lexis.
  • [CALJIC] California Jury Instructions: Criminal, 6th ed., 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw and Lexis.
  • Bennett’s Guide to Jury Selection and Trial Dynamics:California Criminal Litigation, West Publishing Company. Forms for jury selection, including sample questionnaires for different types of trials. These forms are also available on Westlaw (formerly, through the LTG-TP database). Hint: To limit your search to Bennett’s, add “CI (bennett)” to your search.
  • California Forms of Jury Instructions, Matthew Bender, 4 volumes. These forms are also available on Lexis.
  • California’s New Civil Jury Instructions are available through the California Courts’ web page at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/reference/documents/civiljuryinst.pdf. There is a conversion chart at the end for cross-referencing BAJI numbers with the correct numbers for the new instructions.
  • FORECITE: Latest Developments in California Criminal Jury Instructions. This looseleaf volume supplements and updates CALJIC.

Formbooks Organized by Subject Specialization

Multi-Subject Formbook Sets:

  • California Legal Forms: Transaction Guide, Matthew Bender, 36 volumes. Includes forms for business and nonprofit organizations, real estate transactions, commercial transactions, wills & trusts, contracts & obligations, performance of services, and personal transactions.
    These forms are also available on Lexis.
  • West’s California Code Forms With Practice Commentaries, 46 volumes. For use with West’s Annotated California Codes. Includes volumes devoted to Business and Professions, Civil, Civil Procedure, Commercial, Corporations, Education, Elections, Fish & Game, Food & Agricultural, Insurance, Government, Labor, Probate, Public Utilities, and Revenue & Taxation. This publication is also available on Westlaw.

Attorney’s Fees:

  • California Attorney Fee Awards, 2nd ed., Continuing Education of the Bar. This guide includes forms for recovering attorney’s fees.
  • Fee Agreement Forms Manual, Continuing Education of the Bar. This guide provides a complete and practical guide to planning and drafting attorney-client fee agreements that meet the requirements of the fee agreements statute.

Businesses and Business Entities:

  • Advising California Employers and Employees, 2nd ed., Continuing Education of the Bar, 3 volumes. These forms are available on Lexis.
  • Advising California Partnerships, Continuing Education of the Bar. These forms are also available on Lexis.
  • California Practice Guide: Corporations, The Rutter Group, 2 volumes. These forms are also available on Westlaw.
  • California Corporation Laws, Ballantine & Sterling, 7 volumes. These forms are also available on Lexis.
  • California Transactions Forms : Business Entities, Bancroft-Whitney, 6 volumes. These forms are also available on Westlaw.
  • California Transactions Forms: Business Transactions, Bancroft-Whitney, 6 volumes. These forms are also available on Westlaw.
  • Financing and Protecting California Businesses, Continuing Education of the Bar. Forms for business startups.
  • Drafting Business Contracts: Principles, Techniques & Forms, Continuing Education of the Bar. These forms are also available on Lexis.
  • Forming & Operating California Limited Liability Companies, Continuing Education of the Bar. These forms are also available on Lexis.
  • Selecting & Forming Business Entities, Continuing Education of the Bar, 3 volumes. These forms are also available on Lexis.

Class Actions:

  • Cohelan on California Class Actions, West Group. This publication has forms and samples for filing class actions.

Criminal Law:

  • California Criminal Practice, Motions, Jury Instructions and Sentencing, 3rd ed., Thomson-West, 5 volumes.
  • California Criminal Law Forms Manual, Continuing Education of the Bar.

Family Law:

  • California Family Law: Practice and Procedure, Matthew Bender, 6 volumes. These forms are also available on Lexis. Includes a supplement with Judicial Council Forms.
  • California Family Law Trial Guide, Matthew Bender, 4 volumes. This publication is also available on Lexis.
  • California Marital Settlement and Other Family Law Agreements, 3rd ed., California Continuing Education of the Bar.
  • California Practice Guide: Family Law, Rutter Group, 3 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw.
  • California Transaction Forms: Family Law, West Group, 2 volumes. Also available on Westlaw.

Insurance Law:

California Practice Guide: Insurance Litigation, The Rutter Group, 3 volumes.
These forms are also available on Westlaw.

Landlord-Tenant Law:

  • California Eviction Defense Manual, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Lexis.
  • California Landlord-Tenant Practice, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Lexis.
  • California Practice Guide: Landlord-Tenant, Rutter Group, 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw.
  • California Tenants: A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities, State of California. Available online at http://www.dca.ca.gov/legal/landlordbook/index.html. Published by the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • California Tenants’ Rights, Nolo Press.
  • The California Landlord’s Law Book: Rights and Responsibilities, Nolo Press.

Real Property, Financing, and Construction Law:

  • California Practice Guide: Real Property Transactions, Rutter Group, 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw.
  • California Real Estate Forms,2nd ed., [Miller and Starr] Bancroft-Whitney, 4 volumes. These forms accompany Miller and Starr, California Real Estate 2d, the preeminent treatise on real estate law in California. Volume 1 contains forms pertaining to the purchase and sale of real property; Volume 2 contains forms pertaining to leasing transactions. Also available on Westlaw.
  • California Real Property Practice Forms Manual, Continuing Education of the Bar. This practice guide collects forms from CEB’s most commonly used real property books in one easy-to-use volume. Readers can remove forms for easy photocopying.
  • California Construction Contracts and Disputes, Continuing Education of the Bar. This practice guide has forms for drafting California construction contracts. This publication is also available on Lexis.
  • California Lis Pendens Practice, 2nd ed., Continuing Education of the Bar. This practice guide has forms for filing and perfecting notices of pending actions.
  • California Mechanics Liens and Related Construction Remedies, 3rd ed., Continuing Education of the Bar. This practice guide has forms for statutory remedies on public and private construction projects. This publication is also available on Lexis.
  • Condemnation Practice in California, 3rd ed., Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes. Litigation forms are available in this publication.
  • Financing and Protecting California Businesses, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes.
  • Forming California Common Interest Developments, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes. This publication has forms for creating a common interest development.
  • Ground Lease Practice, Continuing Education of the Bar. This practice guide has forms for drafting building leases.
  • Office Leasing: Drafting and Negotiating the Lease, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes. The practice guide has forms for drafting commercial leases. This publication is also available on Lexis.
  • Real Property Exchanges, Continuing Education of the Bar.

Taxation:

  • Print: For tax forms, looseleaf services with forms are pageable. Also, state tax formbooks for the current year are in the Reference Collection.
  • Internet: California tax forms are available on the Internet at: http://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/index.html and federal tax forms are available at: http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/formspubs/index.html

Tort Law:

  • California Practice Guide: Personal Injury, Rutter Group, 2 volumes. Also available on Westlaw.
  • California Products Liability Actions, Matthew Bender. Also available on Lexis.

Wills & Trusts and Elder Law:

  • California Elder Law: An Advocate’s Guide, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes. Also available on Lexis.
  • California Practice Guide: Probate, Rutter Group, 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw.
  • California Transaction Forms: Estate Planning, 2nd ed., West Group, 4 volumes. This publication is also available on Westlaw.
  • California Will Drafting, Continuing Education of the Bar, 3 volumes. Also available on Lexis.
  • Drafting California Revocable Trusts, Continuing Education of the Bar. This publication is also available on Lexis.
  • Drafting California Irrevocable Trusts, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes. This publication is also available on Lexis.
  • California Conservatorship Practice,Continuing Education of the Bar, 2 volumes.
  • This publication is also available on Lexis.

California Forms on the Internet

  • FindLaw California: Legal Forms
  • Judicial Council Legal Forms
  • California Business Portal: http://www.ss.ca.gov/business/corp/corp_formsfees.htm
  • Internet Legal Resource Guide: Legal Forms Archive – http://www.ilrg.com/forms
  • LexisONE provided access to more than 6,000 forms, as well as forms from the extensive Matthew Bender collection. While the forms are free to view, there is a charge to use the interactive forms, and users must register and select a password.
  • The California Superior Court hosts EZLegalFile at http://www.ezlegalfile.org, where interactive forms for family, marriage, divorce, small claims, evictions, guardianship, and domestic violence can be filled out online and printed in a form suitable for filing.

California Forms on Lexis and Westlaw

  • LEXIS: There are many California legal forms on Lexis in the Matthew Bender Treatises and the CEB publications.
  • WESTLAW: There are numerous California legal forms available on Westlaw. To locate the list of forms, go to the online Westlaw directory, select “State Materials”, then select “California”, and then select “Forms, Treatises, CLEs and Other Practice Material”.

Judicial Reference

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Judicial Reference in California

A judicial reference is a little-known procedure that offers the efficiency of arbitration, but with the full right to appeal.

Judicial References in California

By the Hon. Ann Kough. She is a retired judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Judicial reference – a term of art for a little-known procedure whereby the parties appoint a retired judge, attorney-neutral, or a qualified layperson to carry out functions usually performed by a sitting judge. (One example of a nonlawyer referee is an accountant who may be appointed to examine complex financial dealings.)

The authority for judicial references stems from two sources. The first is the California Constitution, which provides for appointment of temporary judges. (See Cal. Const., Art. VI, § 21). The Code of Civil Procedure also authorizes judicial references. Specifically, the code provides for the appointment of a referee to hear all or part of a given case. (See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. §§ 638, 639.) Under section 638, the parties may agree to the appointment of a referee to determine “any or all of the issues” in the action (§ 638(a)), or to “ascertain a fact necessary to enable the court” to decide the case (§ 638(b)).

The parties may agree to a judicial reference before or after the dispute arises. Under section 638, a reference may be for as much, or as little, of the case as the parties desire; the scope of the reference can be expanded by stipulation at any point in the litigation.

If the parties agree to a determination of all issues, the referee will issue a statement of decision, which the trial court must accept and turn into a judgment.

The advantages of a judicial reference are many: (1) the parties choose their own decision maker, (2) there are reliable and convenient trial and motion dates, (3) the case receives specialized attention, and (4) the parties retain full procedural rights – including the right to appeal – just as if they had tried the case in court. (See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 645.)

These advantages become even more apparent in particular matters, such as intellectual property disputes. In those instances, counsel may select a retired judge who presided over numerous intellectual property matters while on the bench, or perhaps a veteran attorney-neutral with considerable experience in a given practice area. The parties can then proceed to schedule motions and hearings at their convenience, confident that the temporary judge/referee will have the experience to deftly deal with the issues, the time to read the briefs, and the ability to hear the case when called, as opposed to continuing it due to the crush of an overflowing calendar.

Of course, parties may simply agree to arbitrate the case, regardless of whether or not there is a pre-dispute arbitration clause. But a judicial reference comes with a procedural advantage that arbitration cannot match: the right to appeal. With a reference under sections 638 and 639, the parties retain the appellate rights that they surrender when they opt for arbitration.

A judicial reference can also save money at each step of the litigation process. Although the initial cost exceeds court filing fees, the parties save money on the back end because neutrals can tailor case management to minimize the expense of discovery, assist counsel in identifying threshold issues that may resolve or significantly streamline the matter, and devote full days to an eventual trial, should one be required.

Most temporary judges/referees take a hands-on approach to case management. For example, they will frequently order that no discovery motions be filed until the temporary judge/referee holds a telephone conference to discuss an informal resolution of the issue. Those telephone conferences can be scheduled as soon as an issue arises. Similarly, the neutral will frequently ask counsel if there are legal or factual issues that can be teed up for resolution, which may allow the parties to settle the matter, or at least greatly diminish the length of a merits hearing.

Should a full-blown hearing become necessary, there can be full days devoted to taking evidence and hearing argument, and litigants may also utilize such cost-saving techniques as video-conferencing or telephone testimony for witnesses not readily available in person. Thus, a matter that might take three weeks or more in court could take a week or less when properly administered by a temporary judge/referee.

As access to our civil courts becomes drastically curtailed, counsel should consider the use of judicial references for cases that require more than minimal judicial involvement.